APANA SA has had some quite substantial changes over the last 12 months.
The first half of the year seemed pretty quiet, with little or no information being fed to members. The hub site planning was quietly going ahead, however.
Around Christmas the move of all our facilities commenced and the new hub site was established. It took a while for everything to settle down - in fact it is really still doing so - but with the aid of a great many people (too many to mention) it happened.
At around the same time the existing RC resigned, in stages. The Management Committee was kept informed throughout this period, and was fully supportive of the changes that took place.
The new RC established some guidelines for the technical and administrative operation of the SA region, including the establishment of a separate technical group for hands-on support of systems. New fee structures were established (and agreed to by the members). A regular series of "contact nights" occurred, and written reports of all RC meetings have been circulated. The effect has been that members now should be fully informed about the operation of their region, with plenty of opportunity to contribute and give opinions.
Financially, we were just about "broke" when the new RC took over. A considerable sum of money had been spent on a part payment for an ISDN feed, with no viable way of obtaining the remainder of the funds required to establish or support the link. We still do not have the funds required to do so, despite large increases in costs to members of either permanent or dial in access. A membership drive has obtained quite a few new members, but there has also been a loss of many previous members, disillusioned with an apparent lack of support and activity during the last couple of years.
Despite this, we now have almost our entire hub site run with APANA owned equipment (other than modems belonging to permanent feeds). We have upgraded much of the older equipment to newer, more reliable gear. This would not have been possible without "loans" of equipment from many people in the interim, and to all those people my heartfelt thanks.
The exodus of the PA sites continued, with cleese being the final private PA site to close. This left a major hole in the services being offered by the region, which was addressed by setting up an APANA owned and run PA site. A system of "admin dudes" - experienced users to setup and look after nominated new users, was established, and seems to be working well. It has several advantages, both spreading the workload for support people and also giving new users a "friend" they can go to for support.
In summary, the gains of the past few years have been seriously impacted and we are only just recovering from those losses. The rapidly changing communications scene makes it hard to predict just where we will be in 12 months time, but I am confident that we can survive and grow in that time.
To the rest of the RC and the many members who have given their support in so many ways many thanks are due. There are far too many of them to name individually.